June 30, 2006, - 12:27 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Lost amidst yesterday’s absurd ruling in the Hamdan case, was another Supreme Court ruling on two very important companion cases we’ve written about, Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon and Bustillo v. Johnson, both concerning alien criminals in the U.S.
Fortunately, not all the liberal justices are consistently intent on ruining America. On Wednesday, the Court ruled 6-3 that foreign suspects–mostly illegal aliens–whose government (or diplomatic embassy) was not notified of their arrests cannot keep statements made to police from being considered during trial.
The majority–in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts–ruled against the plaintiffs, illegal alien criminals from Honduras and Mexico, who claimed their rights under the 1969 Vienna Convention treaty were violated when police didn’t tell them they could contact their consulates. The Mexican national was convicted of attempted murder in Oregeon and the Honduran was convicted of murder in Virginia.
At issue was whether foreign prisoners in the U.S. have a right to reopen their cases if they AND their consulates were not read their rights at the time of arrest. The World Court said Mexican illegal immigrants in our prison system have legal rights to contact their consulates, under the Vienna Convention, and that, if not informed of and afforded that right, they can re-open, and in many cases, even have the charges against them thrown out.
Had the court ruled the other way, THOUSANDS of illegal alien criminals–many of them hardened, violent criminals–would have the right to bail hearings and new trials. Many of them would be set free into the great American abyss until they committed their next crime.
But their ruling on the cases reveals inconsistencies regarding U.S. obligations under foreign treaties. In yesterday’s Hamdan ruling, the court said the U.S. must abide by the strictest interpretations of the Geneva Convention, which is not kept by most other countries and is largely null and void. Yet, in these cases, the Court ruled otherwise–that an international treaty, the Vienna Convention, was not binding.
The Supremes are wrong on military tribunals for terrorists, but Thank G-d, they got it right on this one.
Still, they must reconcile the inconsistency regarding the treaties and why some are binding while others aren’t.
Tags: America, American abyss, chief, Hamdan Ruling, Honduras, International Court of Justice, John Roberts, Mexico, Oregon, Sanchez-Llamas, Supreme Court, United States, Virginia, World Court